Legal Question in Family Law in Minnesota

I just had a child custody hearing and recieved sole physical custody of my 3 year old daughter. I agreed to her dad helping with schooling religion etc. I just recieved custody hearing papers in mail. They say i only get to claim her on tax exemption everyother year and her dad everyother year. I dont agree on that since her dad only has her everyother weekend and everyother major holiday. I feel i should get to claim her every year, is that possible? If so how do i go about changing it since she lives with me and i have her 90% of the time pretty much?

Asked on 12/23/14, 10:39 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

John Jesperson Minnesota Lawyers - Jesperson Law Offices

In practice, the award of dependency exemptions often depends on the discretion of the judge. It is not at all uncommon for the court in any of the metro counties to divide the dependency exemptions between the parties, regardless of the award of sole physical custody to the custodial parent. Federal law provides a method of allocating the dependency exemption, but despite this, the IRS will defer to the award of exemptions made in a custody case. In many cases the court will award one dependency exemption to the non-custodial parent because it "seems fair," but will make this award without the benefit of any tax computations. In most custody/support cases, I run several tax calculations to determine the "value" of the dependency exemption(s) to my client. These computations may be used as exhibits at a hearing, depending on the facts. In some cases the "value" of an individual dependency exemption to my client may be relatively small -- that is, the amount of additional income tax he or she will pay without the benefit of one deduction may be very modest. In some cases, however, and particularly where there is only one dependency exemption, the value of that dependency exemption may be more significant. In theory the court should take these computations into account. In practice, many judges simply divide the exemptions between the parties. Without additional facts, particularly tax returns, it is impossible to tell whether the court's award is reasonable.

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Answered on 12/23/14, 12:25 pm
Tricia Dwyer Tricia Dwyer Esq & Assoc PLLC

There is an appeals process in most matters of law. And there is generally a procedure to reopen a judgment within a certain time frame. I urge you to confer privately with an experiened family law attorney at this time so she may assist you. She will want to discuss what occurred at the hearing and review the Order. Tricia Dwyer Esq. Minnesota Family Law Attorneys Phone 612-296-9666 365 days for emergencies, 'til 6 daily

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Answered on 12/25/14, 9:37 am

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